I used to be her favorite

While this blog was created for my mom, there are definitely plenty of other people in my life that warrant writing about, in particular my grandmother Rafi, my father’s mother.

Growing up we never called her grandma, just Rafi. That was probably attributed to my father’s tumultuous upbringing and my grandparent’s cool attitude towards affection. Anyway, I was my grandmother’s favorite, no doubts. Rafi always wanted a daughter but ended up with two sons. My father joked once that the only way his mother would love him was if he got a sex change…..so when her first grandchild was a girl, well, you can guess how much I was doted upon.

In recent years, however Rafi has also suffered with dementia, though unlike my mother, Rafi has what I like to call good old-fashioned senility. Remarkably she still lives on her own with regular visits from a caregiver, my dad, and my brother, and she is content to eat cake, watch the weatherchannel all day and generally be left alone. I used to visit her regularly but once I had children it became harder for me to pop over to her place. And when I did bring my kids to see her they usually started crying the minute she opened the door (she does bear a slight resemblance to a witch). My sporadic visits took their toll on our relationship, and the last time I visited her she screamed at me, “La drona, la drona!” (thief) and threw me out of her house! Two Christmases ago she hit me when I tried to get her to wash her hands, and at this point she has no idea who I am.  I pretend it doesn’t hurt but it does.

In the past few months my grandmother’s aggression has hit a 10 and her caregiver asked if there was anything we could do since she is tired of hiding the breakables when she visits (my grandmother likes to throw pots at people). I volunteered to look into it since I am persona non grata over at her place and want to help her out in some way.  Well, I am happy to report that after a month of discussion with doctors and a local hospice agency we finally have medication in hand; something that will hopefully calm her down and perhaps, if we are lucky, allow us to give her her first bath in two years. I’ll save the bathing discussion for another post….

So this morning my dad, my grandmother’s caregiver, and I will attempt to tame this wild woman, and maybe, just maybe I’ll be her favorite again.

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4 Comments to “I used to be her favorite”

  1. Good luck! That is so tough that you have both of these special women in your life suffering like this. It makes your perspective in this blog very meaningful. Just keep on doin’ the best you can – you’re a great daughter, granddaughter, and mom!

  2. Keeping the situation in prayer. You do have your hands full. When my Dad was dying of cancer he went into major mood swings and we often found ourselves ducking. I hope the medication works miracles.

    • Thank you Ms. Kathleen!
      I appreciate your kind words. So far the meds are helping, no miracles yet but she has given me hugs when I visit! A definite step in the right direction. Now about that bath………………..
      Ana

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